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Posts tagged: Illinois

Day after Illinois

Probably should have renamed this one the day-after Brandon Paul post. Or Paul Brandon, as he was referred to(not by me!) a couple years ago in a previous GU-Illinois matchup. Interesting night at the Kennel as the Illinois guards got the better of Gonzaga's and the Zags probably didn't exploit their interior advantage as much as they would have liked, particularly in the second half.

The result: Illinois remained unbeaten with an 85-74 victory over previously unbeaten Gonzaga.

Here are the links: My game story, Dan Pelle's photos (the first one tells part of the story), A.P.Chicago Tribune, and more here, and,

Read on for more.

Paul leads Illinois past Gonzaga

Illinois took down Gonzaga again.

The Illini, behind Brandon Paul's 35 points, which equaled Virginia's Sean Singletary (Dec., 2005) for the most scored against GU at the MAC, knocked off Gonzaga 85-74 in a battle of unbeatens Saturday night. Illinois has won three of four against GU the last four seasons, including victories at the MAC and at KeyArena in the Battle in Seattle.

No. 13 Illinois improved to 10-0. No. 10 Gonzaga dropped to 9-1.

My unedited game story is below. Check back in the morning for my day-after post.

Zags, Illini renew rivalry

They've met the last three seasons with Illinois winning two of three from Gonzaga. The 10th-ranked Bulldogs and 13th-ranked Illini are both 9-0 so something has to give when the teams clash Saturday night at the MAC. By records and rankings, it shapes up as one of the best matchups on Gonzaga's schedule.

After a nine-game losing streak against ranked opponents, Gonzaga is 3-4 in its last seven vs. ranked foes.

Here's my preview that will run in Saturday's S-R.

Day after Illinois

Gonzaga brings out the best in Illinois. A couple of Illinois-based reporters told me Illinois played its best game of the season by far in defeating Gonzaga 82-75 Saturday. They said the same thing about Illinois' win last year in the Battle in Seattle.

The teams conclude a four-game set with a meeting next year at the McCarthey Athletic Center. Illinois has won 2 of 3.

Read on for my day-after Illinois post.

GU suffers first loss of season

Back with my game story from GU's 82-75 loss to Illinois in Champaign on Saturday. You're getting the hard copy because I've got a two-hour drive back to Indianapolis. I'll post a link later, but you can read my unedited game story below for now.

UPDATE: Here's the story link.

GU-Illinois pregame

About an hour to tip-off here at Assembly Hall, a dandy circular facility with 16,618 seats (all seat-backs). GU assistant coach Ray Giacoletti has been a popular man, doing radio interviews and greeting folks courtside. He grew up in Peoria, about 90 miles down the road, and his wife, Kim, has family in nearby Bloomington. Giacoletti expects to have 15-20 close friends and family here to watch.

Ex-Zag Jeremy Pargo is also expected attend the game.

Head over to for in-game updates.

Unbeatens collide in Champaign

Gonzaga puts its unbeaten record on the line against another unbeaten, Illinois, on Saturday in Champaign. After three games at the McCarthey Athletic Center, one at the Spokane Arena and one in Vancouver, this will be Gonzaga's first true road test of the season.

Here's my game preview that will run in Saturday's S-R. 

Illinois punishes GU from 3-point arc

Illinois drained 12 3-pointers, many at critical junctures, en route to a 73-61 victory over the Zags in the 8th annual Battle in Seattle.

Demetri McCamey and Mike Tisdale each had three 3s. Brandon Paul, D.J. Richardson and Billy Cole each had two 3s. The 20th-ranked Illini (8-1) made 12 of 23 3s after starting out 1 of 7.

Robert Sacre had 15 points and 10 boards for GU. Elias Harris cooled off in the second half, missing all three of his shot attempts. He finished with 12 points. Steven Gray scored 10 points on 3 -of-12 shooting.

Illinois had five players in double figures, led by Tisdale’s and Richardson’s 15.

More in about two hours.

Battle in Seattle preview

Gonzaga and Illinois hook up tomorrow for the 8th installment of the Battle in Seattle. GU is 4-3 at KeyArena, moving above .500 with the win over Davidson last year.

Here’s my preview.

Zags, Illini in Seattle

It’s been pretty well known for some time, but the formal announcement came this morning that Gonzaga will face Illinois in the Battle in Seattle on Dec. 4. More here.

It’ll be the second of a four-game set between the teams. Gonzaga beat Illinois in Chicago last season. The teams will eventually play on each other’s home courts to conclude the series.

GU has a 4-3 record in Battle in Seattle games. Illinois is the first Big Ten team to play against Gonzaga in the Battle.

Zags work OT for third win in six days

Gonzaga doesn’t play another basketball game until next Saturday when it visits Portland. It’ll be a nice break from the three-games-in-six-days stretch the Bulldogs just completed. GU went 3-0 in that stretch, capped by a thrilling 85-83 win over Illinois on Saturday.

Read on for more.

Harris hits game-winner for GU

Freshman forward Elias Harris scored on an off-balance 8-footer in the lane with 12.6 seconds left, lifting Gonzaga to a wild 85-83 overtime win over Illinois on Saturday.

GU led by 21 in the first half and by eight at halftime, but the Illini (9-5) stormed back to lead by as many as eight in the second half. The Bulldogs (11-3), after a flurry of second-half turnovers, settled down late and took a 77-76 lead on Harris’ bucket with 46 seconds left in regulation.

Steven Gray added two free throws to make it GU 79-76, but Illinois’ Dominique Keller tied it with a wide-open 3-pointer, which came after the illini grabbed an offensive rebound. Demetri Goodson’s shot in the closing seconds was blocked and the game went to overtime.

Matt Bouldin’s 3-pointer tied it at 83 with 1:38 remaining. The Zags called timeout to set up the play for Harris, who caught the pass 15 feet away from the basket on the wing. He took one dribble into the lane and scored over Keller.

Illinois’ Brandon Paul missed a 3-point attempt and Harris pulled down the rebound as time expired.

Back with more in about 90 minutes.

Zags up 8 at break

Gonzaga completely dominated, leading 32-11 at one point, but Illinois rallied to close the gap to 43-35 at halftime before a full house at the United Center.

The Zags led 10-0 early and kept adding on — including center Robert Sacre’s first 3-pointer on his first career attempt — with a crisp offensive performance that was reminiscent of the first half of Thursday’s win over Oklahoma. Gonzaga didn’t commit a turnover in the first 14 minutes, but finished the half with six.

Steven Gray paced GU with 14 points.

Check back following the game for more.

Gonzaga ready for tip off

Some quick links as tip-off approaches for the GU-Illinois game at 10 a.m. (yes, that start time sounds strange). Here are John Blanchette’s post-Oklahoma and pre-Illinois thoughts, the Chicago Tribune’s quick glance at GU-Illinois and a feature on Illini guard Demetri McCamey, and a preview in the Chicago Sun-Times. In case you missed it, here’s my game preview that I posted Friday night.

I’m not on the trip, but I’ll be putting together a recap afterward, so check back following the game.

No time to waste for GU

Gonzaga didn’t get much time to celebrate its easy win over Oklahoma on Thursday, or New Year’s Eve, for that matter. The Bulldogs are in Chicago for a non-conference battle with Illinois at 10 a.m. Pacific Saturday.

Illinois defeated Northwestern in overtime Wednesday. The Wildcats shot a mind-boggling 47 3s (made 16) in that game.

My unedited preview is below.

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Jim Meehan (@srjimm) Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Sean Kramer Sean Kramer is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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